Father of boy smuggled into Spain in suitcase on trial

Madrid-  The heart-wrenching photo showing an eight-year-old boy from Ivory Coast crammed into a suitcase that was found at a Spanish border crossing went viral around the world.

His father Ali Ouattara goes on trial on Tuesday in Ceuta, a Spanish overseas territory in northern Morocco where migrants from Africa regularly try to reach by climbing high border fences, hiding behind car dashboards or in bus chassis, by any means to reach Europe.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a three-year prison term for the boys father, Ali Ouattara for facilitating his son’s illegal entry into Europe and endangering the child’s life.

“I’m going to this trial with a lot of confidence because I’m not a human trafficker,” Ouattara, 45, told AFP.

In May 7  2016 Spanish authorities noticed that a suitcase carried by a Moroccan woman looked rather heavy across the border, as she was dragging it across.

When the suitcase went through the X-ray machine they were shocked too see that a boy was crammed inside in foetal position.

“My name is Adou,” the boy told them in French after the got him out the suitcase according to Spanish journalist Nicolas Castellano, who wrote a book about the story.

The father Ouattara said the family was desperate to get his son out the country,  “For us, it was crucial for the child to come, we couldn’t live without him, we couldn’t stop thinking about him,” Ouattara said.

“I was earning more than 1,300 euros in a launderette but they said it wasn’t enough” for the entire family to live, he says.

Photo Credit- TimesLIVE

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